Shazam! Fury of the Gods is not better than the first installment.
As the first iteration of the embattled DCEU comes to a close, Shazam! Fury of the Gods slides in for a few final laughs and CGI battles. Fans of the first movie will be delighted to see Billy Batson and his foster family return to the big screen, but for casual moviegoers, it’s all a case of “been there, done that.”
Zachary Levi returns as the hilarious hero and counterpart to teenage Billy, played by Asher Angel. Jack Dylan Grazer and Adam Brody return as the human and superhero forms of his foster brother Freddy, respectively. Djimon Hounsou once again plays The Wizard, the last surviving member of the Council of Wizards who gave Billy his powers. Rachel Zegler rounds out the cast as newcomer Anne. Helen Mirren and Lucy Liu play Hespera and Kalypso, two daughters of Atlas who seek to recover a weapon with mystical powers and reshape Earth in their image. Mirren and Liu are clearly having fun playing supervillains without overselling it.
Fury of the Gods maintains the goofy sense of humor of the previous film. Various meta nods to DC Comics and even the MCU sometimes make this feel like a PG-13 Deadpool movie. But the disjointed plot and cliché story beats make drag things down. It’s worth noting that this movie is just as dark as the first one. The CGI monsters are hideous, and civilians die horribly. Fury’s saving grace is in two dedicated and entertaining performances from Grazer and Hounsou. Unfortunately, the rest of the movie feels like a giant ad for Skittles and a reason for a particular DC superhero to appear in a gratuitous cameo.